“Farm to table” it’s become a buzz phrase, and even a little cliché. What does it really mean? Sure, food from a farm, then served right on the table in front of you. Seems like it should be a given, right? Wrong. Many places are farm to manufacturer, to warehouse, to freezer, to table. That’s a lot of steps in between. Luckily for us, more and more places in Dayton are taking a lot of the middle men out of the equation. At Corner Kitchen, our love and respect for food is shared not only by our guests, but our partners in quality, local farmers. We are thrilled to begin showcasing the bounty of the Miami Valley as local farmers bring a greater variety to market.
We continually receive amazing produce from Patchwork Gardens, in Trotwood, OH, and have recently enjoyed serving Bright Lights rainbow swiss chard, blue curly kale, red rover radishes, beautiful lettuce mixes, hakurei turnips, flat-leaf italian parsley, and fresh first of the season strawberries. Patchwork's conscientious attention to detail and use of organic and permaculture practices makes all of their produce a best choice for everyone. (Chef and Natalie have also participated in their CSA and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in receiving a great variety of local farm to home table foods throughout the year).
A new partnership that we have started this year has brought amazing variety and quality to our kitchen. Learning Tree Farms, located in West Dayton, has been a hands on learning experience for people of all ages by operating a full functioning farm with produce, orchards, sheep, goats, chickens, pigs, horses, and cows. We currently are receiving delicious speckled bibb lettuce, red romaine, little gem romaine, red leaf lettuce, gooseberries, dill, parsley, oregano, savory, snap peas, red spring onions, rhubarb, garlic scapes, and kale. As the summer progresses, we cannot wait to receive more from our friends Jean and Terry.
Much of the remaining items that we source directly from farmers come from connections fostered by our favorite Xenia farmer, Ed Hill. Not only do we exclusively use Ed Hill's famous chickens, but he has provided us with Melrose and Goldrush apples, apricots, multiple varieties of cherries, and other fruits from Eshleman Fruit Farms in Clyde, OH. We've also been lucky enough to receive some of Ed's own hand ground polenta, available in three different corn varieties.
The strength of the farm to table movement has not gone unnoticed, and we are connected to many other great local producers through our main produce supplier, Pic's Produce. Hydrogrowers, a family owned and operated farm in Troy, is a great example, providing Corner Kitchen with eggs, hydroponic bibb lettuce, and corn.
I found the most exciting part of sourcing items locally and seasonally is the creativity that it can allow. Desserts like our strawberry rhubarb milkshake, cocktails like the gooseberry margarita, and a variety of daily food specials bring all of these ingredients together for everyone to enjoy.